Karel Sapp (33) of Anzegem completed the Pacific Crest Trail in 46 days. And this is no less than 4,286 kilometers across the United States from the border with Mexico to Canada. It is the fastest time the course has ever been run and therefore an absolute world record. SABB originally wanted to do it within 50 days, but it did it much better than expected. He finished the race in (unconfirmed time) 46 days, 12 hours, 56 minutes.
Karel Sapp of Waregem, in addition to his job as a dentist, is also an avid runner. In recent years, Karel has faced many great challenges and has really managed to add great things to his palm. In 2018, for example, he completed the 3,500-kilometer Appalachian Trail in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States in no less than 41 days, 7 hours, and 39 minutes. In 2021, Karel completed a trek across the Alps of no less than 2,650 kilometers in 30 days, 8 hours, and 57 minutes.
And just this year, Karel was the first Belgian ever to finish the grueling Barclay Marathon in the United States. This race is 160 kilometers long, where competitors have to find their own way and reach the finish line within 60 hours. And now Karel has completed the Pacific Crest Trail for the second time in less than 7 weeks.
What is the Pacific Crest Trail?
The Pacific Crest Trail has been a staple among hikers for nearly a hundred years. The path extends in the western United States from the border of Mexico into Canada, passing through California, among other cities. You will pass through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Cascade Mountains. It is valid for a distance of 4,286 km, with an altitude difference of about 4,000 metres.
Karel had already completed the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016. He then covered 4,286 kilometers in 52 days, 8 hours and 25 minutes, which was already a world record at the time. This record was broken in 2021 by a Dutchman who took 51 days. But this is clearly a nibble on Karel. In 2022, he shares a photo on Strava, and drops that he wants to come back one day to get his record back. And successfully now. Because Karel was able to complete the journey in no less than 46 days.
Not without a fight
The journey didn’t pass without a fight for Karel. At first, the heat made it difficult for him and his team to find a good walking and sleeping rhythm and how to avoid the hottest times of the day. But Karel and his team made it through the wind and weather, as well as through the snow on the higher peaks. In recent days he has had to walk about 110km due to a nearby bushfire, which means he will end up with some extra kilometers around the clock.
But Karel remained cheerful and diligent throughout the trip. And so he jumped to the new segment, having covered a distance of 850 kilometers. He was also encouraged by a team of friends and family throughout the course. But also many supporters and other radical runners in the United States have been waiting for him and sometimes walking with him. The team tried to provide regular updates on the progress of the trip via social media. And certainly healthy snacks discussed:
(Read more under the Instagram post)
While trekking the Pacific Crest Trail, Karel was supported by a team of amazing people, as he describes them on social media. Kobe is the running coach, and he helps Karel maintain the pace throughout the run. Known Henry Carell since high school, he designed the site that allowed people to follow Carell and also helped him keep the pace.
Anna is the niece of Karel’s wife and drove along the track. She provided food and drink and was responsible for all new supplies and necessities. Eric helped keep the pace with Karel for the first part of the ride.
But the Carell family was there, too. Parents Vivian Vanlerberg and Peter Sapp continued the adventure with Karel’s son, Jack (3 years old). They were also servants in addition to their role as supporters. “We do the laundry. “Every four days we get a big bag of smelly gym clothes and socks,” laughs Vivian. “Karel is tired and thin. You can see his ribs, but his feet still look good. We traveled with this and were able to enjoy the cozy towns and beautiful nature. We saw Karel about every two or three days. It was always cool to see how Jack walked or rode his bike towards his dad and called out to him. This obviously gave him extra motivation,” Vivian and Peter concluded proudly.
🥳🥳🥳 We have received confirmation of this #Karel Sapp You have reached the northern station.
informal #fact On the # PCT It is 46 days, 12 hours and 56 minutes
– Frank Decarty (@frank Decarty) August 26, 2023
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